Traveling to the Roots of Racism in America

Since May I have had the opportunity to visit four places dedicated to the history of African Americans in our country:  National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC, a small and powerful museum in Springfield, IL and finally while traveling back from community days a stop in Montgomery AL to see both The Legacy Museum (From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration) and The National Memorial for Peace & Justice (remembering all those who have been lynched because of the color of their skin).

While I could not take pictures inside The Legacy Museum, I could at The Memorial and have included two with this blog.  Each pillar has a state & county on it and the names & dates of those people who were lynched.  In the museum, there is an interactive US map showing where all the known lynchings took place.  While the southern states dominated by numbers there are very few states that have none.

Each of these places I have been these past months has deepened my own awareness of my white privilege and the arduous & necessary work to be anti-racist.  This is a particular transforming work within my congregation as well.

What is the arduous work you are called to do?  Are you open to being transformed regardless of how uncomfortable you may feel?

Roberta A. Popara, O.P.
North Palm Beach FL


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